Okay, so I still don't have a new computer after my last one decided to up and die, but I do have a loaner, and my hard drives in external caddies, so I can start prompting again.
[Person #1]: You just had to piss off the giant murderbot, didn't you?
[Person #2, aka 'Giant Murderbot']: "HEY! I've tried very hard NOT to kill anyone, thank-you!" -- RecklessPrudence
[AN: Great to have you back!]
The Doctor believed in giving people second chances. And people who were not, strictly speaking, people at all got one or two more than the real ones. And sometimes, if they were really honest, and truly needed it, people would get more second chances than other people thought they deserved.
The people who did that sort of thinking didn't get more than one second chance. If they were lucky enough to get one in the first place.
The survivors of the current disaster were Tracy, Blix, and Killbot 77. According to the crew who had died, the robot had been left running too long and had started to get a personality. Killbot 77 should have been recycled years ago, but the company was too cheap to get an upgrade.
Tracy got a second chance because she was kind to Killbot 77. Blix, because she had been trying to campaign against the recycling program for her entire career as Maintenance and Repairs.
But it had been a long run from the invading insects, the organics were tired and hungry and they were getting tetchy and arguing. And it didn't help that Killbot 77 was trying to be helpful. The poor thing just wound up being trying.
"It is past your regular power-down cycle," said the robot. "You have missed two sustenance periods. In an effort to continue maintenance, I have found and secured... supplies."
It was an honest effort. Killbot 77 had acknowledged that organics needed certain elements in order to sustain their bodies and secured a scientific portion of them. Unfortunately for Killbot 77, they had yet to learn about edibility.
The Doctor looked at the collection of soap, nuts, bolts, plant fibre and assorted chemicals and sighed, "The theory's correct, but the practice needs a lot of work."
"Where did you learn about food," demanded Tracy, "Lucrecia Borgia?"
"O great," sighed Blix. "Just annoy the giant murder-bot. That's just what we need..."
"Apologies, you are erroneous, cogniscent Blix. I have recorded zero kills in two years. And... I do not like killing."
"Nobody should," said the Doctor, absently using his sonic on a vending machine. "See? This is good food."
Killbot 77 ran their scanners over the packages. "I can not yet discern the difference. Apologies. Am I... crashing?"
"Not at all. It's... complicated. Organics like things that taste good. Not just chemically correct."
The bitter mood lifted, at last, thanks to the picnic. And solutions to the problem began to bubble up between them all. But it was Killbot 77 who came up with the words that saved them all.
"We could give them what they want."
So it was that a robot made for war became the ultimate ambassador for peace. And it worked because both sides shared a frustration with explaining things to them.
Their first public speech started with, "I would like to be named Kili. It is a real name I found in a book. And since I am allowed to continue in my new function, I would like a real name, please."
The Doctor had never been prouder.
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